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Girls Hockey: Ernster returns as head coach

Jim Ernster is ready for his second tour of duty.

On Aug. 1, Ernster was hired as head coach of the Brainerd/Little Falls Flying Warriors. He replaces Stephanie Sustercich, who submitted her requested resignation following last season.

Ernster was the Brainerd girls head coach for five seasons (2002-03 through 2006-07), two years before the Warriors joined forces with Little Falls. During his tenure, the Warriors went 62-58-7 (.517) with his first season (15-8-2) and his last (14-12-0) his best campaigns.

"When I stepped away from the girls program our family was a lot younger at that time," Ernster said. "It was a good decision for our family. Our girls are older now, so I just happen to have more time. I know I will be able to manage the challenges and give the time needed to manage those challenges."

The 41-year-old Brainerd High School graduate, who teaches EBD special education at Lincoln Education Center in Brainerd, was an assistant in the girls program for three years before he became head coach.

For the last seven years, he has been an assistant with the Warrior boys program.

"We are excited to have Jim Ernster join our fraternity of Brainerd Warrior head coaches," Brainerd activities director Charlie Campbell said. "Coach Ernster is a great choice to lead our girls hockey program. His extensive hockey playing and coaching background, as well as his commitment to education-based athletics, will help our program find success in the short and long term."

Campbell said the assistant coaching vacancies have been posted and he hopes to have Ernster's staff finalized shortly.